On March 11, 1876 the residents of the village of Little Rock and vicinity met at the Little Rock schoolhouse to organize and build a church in their village.
Dr. J. T. H. Brady was elected President and Henry Abby Secretary. Rev. Jacob Wickizer of Aurora was asked to address the group and state the purpose of the meeting. Following his remarks the following preamble was offered and accepted by those present.
We, the undersigned citizens of Little Rock and vicinity, desiring to erect a comfortable house of worship for our families, and ourselves agree to pay the sums opposite our names. The said house of worship is to be erected within the limits of Little Rock and owned and used by the people of Little Rock and vicinity for a house of public worship and for moral and scientific lectures. It shall be the duty of the subscribers and citizens at a public meeting to elect three suitable persons for a building committee or trustees for the present year. In addition to annually elect trustees to have charge of the house and to see that all things incidental or necessary to a house of worship is provided. The society is to be known as the “Union Church Society of Little Rock.”
Josiah J. Shults and Isaac Hatch donated the church building lot. The church was built on the south side of Galena Road on the half section line of section five. It was directly south of the point Squaw Road connects to Galena Road. Mr. Hatch gave the west half and Mr. Shults the east half of the lot.
Joel Shults, Andrew Hunter and James S. Hatch were elected as the building committee.
At a meeting held November 11, 1876, John H. Pratt, J. T. H. Brady, I. E. Bennett and William Hodgeman were appointed to assist in raising funds for the church.
Joel Shults and wife and Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Hunter were made a committee to obtain material to trim the pulpit. They were also responsible for purchasing pulpit furniture and lamps for the church.
On June 17, 1876 the contract to build the church was let to Enos Doan of Sandwich for $2,025. The building was to be finished on or about October 1, 1876.
The size of the church was to be 32 by 50 feet with sixteen feet from the floor to ceiling.
The church was dedicated Thanksgiving Day November 30, 1876. Rev. J. B. McGuffin of Plano, Rev. W. H. Smith of Mendota and Rev. Jacob Wickizer of Aurora were in charge of the dedication. Rev. W. H. Smith preached the sermon.
On September 16, 1877 an organ was purchased from R. D. Scott.
At the annual meeting held March 18, 1880, the president, J. T. H. Brady was authorized to select a committee of three to revise and perfect the organization of the Union Church Society of Little Rock. He appointed William Taylor, I. E. Bennett and Henry Abby to the committee.
At the annual meeting held March 12, 1881, the committee appointed presented twelve articles to perfect the organization of the church for discussion and adoption separately and collectively. Two of the articles adopted pertain to church membership.
Article 8, The membership of this society shall consist of all persons who have subscribed and paid five dollars and upward toward the erection of said church and whose names shall appear for said amounts and over on the subscription list, found in the records of this society. The said persons shall be known as stockholders in said church society.
Article 9, All Stockholders shall be entitled to vote as follows: all persons who have subscribed and paid the sum of $5.00 shall be entitled to one vote and on additional vote for each and every additional $5.00 subscribed.
Little Rock Union Church Society Membership in 1876
|3||Abby||Mary P. Fowler||1||Mrs. Henry|
|9||Bennett||Isaac E., Dr.||1|